instant poker

Karma [Outlaw Queen Prompt; Cinderella AU, Part II/VII]

Note: yes, yes, you read correctly, there will now be five parts instead of three. I just don’t know when to stop torturing them, you guys.

Part I

Part II

Muttering a litany of words so colorful they would have even the most leathery patrons at the local tavern raising an eyebrow or two, Regina darts up the remainder of the stairs and down two doors on the right as quickly as her trembling legs can carry her. The festive sounds of the townsfolk below, high off royal contact and drunk on mulled wine, travel through the ventilation slits and she sighs, resentful but relieved all the same that the party carries on.

The last thing she needs is for Robin to catch her lurking in his rooms, trying to set something on fire.

Shutting the door behind her, she leans against it as she gulps down a breath or two, waits for her heart rate to slow. There’s a stale, dusty quality about the place, by nature of its chronically uninhabited state, devoid of any warmth or particular scent unique to its current occupant. Only the four-poster canopy of vibrant green, resting in the center of the room atop a bearskin rug, looks vaguely personalized, and even then it appears stiff from disuse.

Regina tears her eyes away from the bed. Crouching in front of the chimneypiece, she grabs the flint and steel blade from under the pile of logs. Her fingers shake as she strikes them together, showering the floor with flimsy, pathetic-looking sparks. The knife slips from her grasp and she shudders as the blunt edge slices through the skin of her palm, deep enough to draw blood.

“Damn it,” she curses under her breath, tossing the sooty flint aside to examine her wound more closely. She swipes angrily at the bead of sweat that trickles down her temple, scowling when a wayward drop of blood lands on her skirts. This damn dress is the only halfway decent thing she owns—and again, the reminder of how she’d had a certain pair of bright blue eyes in mind as she dressed that morning, a giddy bounce in her step—

She can’t cry. She won’t cry.

She’s finally managed a substantial enough spark to prod at with the brass poker when the doorknob turns with a startling rattle, and she barely has the time to glance up as the wooden panel swings wide open.

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